bedding a rifle action


Staff member
The main thing you need to understand when bedding a rifle action is WHAT youre trying to accomplish and why and how some things are done to reach the goal.
The main goal is insuring CONSISTENCY; the idea is to lock the action firmly into the stock without inducing stress to the action that will change, the way the barrel vibrates as it changes temperature.
Generally youll want to provide a totally solid foundation, in the stock for the action to bed against that exactly matches the lower receivers contours, a section of threaded brass tubing cut slightly shorter than the locking bolts, recessed length and placed in the bolt holes and epoxy, mixed with aluminum dust, as a sub structure works really effectively provided the area its attached to is rough and porous enough for it to get an excellent grip, in place, holding the action in place , and insuring consistent, and easily repeatable action location in the stock.
Ive generally found the action and the first 3 inches of barrel being epoxied supported in the stock is a good idea kit&ps=10&si=True

Sells good bedding kits and release agents
Waxing the metal parts then coating them with both a single thickness of masking tape and a release agent will tend to prevent epoxies from bonding where its not wanted
A cross bolt behind the recoil lug(s) can be epoxy glued into the stock on the higher recoil level calibers as an extra precaution, a common mistake is not removing a bit of stock internal surface and finish under the action and barrel to allow sufficient thickness of the epoxy to have the required strength, and theres no reason not to use threaded bolt or rods acting like REBAR in concrete in that epoxy bedding foundation in a few cases where extra strength may be required, for example on my 458 LOTT theres a forward recoil lug, about 5" forward of the action on the barrel, a channel in the stock about 4 inches long and 5/8" wide and 1/3rd of an inch deep was machined and two 1/4" thread rod sections covered with epoxy were installed to back up that recoil lug, and two action length sections were welded to a cross bar and epoxied into the area under and to the sides of the action, behind the main action recoil lug, plus a cross bar bolt just below to prevent the stock from splitting.
all obviously not necessary on low recoil level rifles, but on a 458 win or 458 Lott the additional work prevents problems
I own several wby markV rifles and every one of them shot a bit better groups once I rebedded then with the receivers & barrels supported for about 3" forward of the receivers and the barrels free floated a bit off the stock forearm at least enough off the forearm to slide a dollar bill up to with-in 3" of the receiver


someones bound to ask about muzzle brakes,muzzle brakes work best on very high velocity cartridges where the powder charge is a significant percentage of the ejected mass, leaving the bore, they are also loud, now Ive got a couple heavy caliber rifles with brakes, and they do make a difference, in felt recoil, but on a hunting rifle Ive never seen a huge advantage simply because you seldom take more than one or two shots at game in the field, under conditions where your very likely to be wearing a heavy coat, or padded shooting vest and youll have NO ear protection, youll seldom feel the single shots recoil but your ears may ring for hours
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Active Member
for a normal hunting rifle the 3" of the barrel bedding when bedding an action is a good idea
normaly i start by bedding my pillars first on th side of the trigger with some thicker bedding materiaal so when i bed then all the epoxy can not drip from the underside of the stock .

i usualy tape the barrel in front and rear so when you place the action/barrel in the stock it sits on the right hight
i then use epoxy (the one that comes in saussice in two collors) i make smale links that i apply around the trigger side of the pillars

let dry and then release the bolts from the pillars and take the action out
now you can grinde out some ofthe material of the stock so you can apply the normale bedding material
rebold the action on the pillars remove the surplus of epoxy let sit till curred and then remove the tape from the barrel

dont't forget to apply release agent on the ation and in the bolt holes and bolts ore you get a glue in action

dont,t use acraglass that stuf is way to brittle


The Grumpy Grease Monkey mechanical engineer.
Staff member
any decent gunsmith can install a stock re-enforcing cross bolt behind the recoil lug in the receiver
if you feel better, I know I did it on my and Jacks browning A-bolts rifles in 375 H&H browning A-bolt,
I simply measured very accurately , drilled the required hole and recessed the area where the bolt heads would be.
test fitted the cross bolt and used lots of bedding compound
once installed a bit of bedding compound and paint on the synthetic stock and theres zero visual indication its been installed,
but the stocks significantly stronger, I installed , two,a cross bolt behind the recoil lug and another one behind the rear action screw,
once installed and covered with bedding compound and the stocks repainted you have no visual indication either was ever installed.
obviously doing this on a synthetic stock is far easier than on a wood stock where youll see the mods

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The Grumpy Grease Monkey mechanical engineer.
Staff member

keep in mind the whole idea behind bedding a rifles action is to both strengthen the rifle stock to the contact to the action,
and reduce chances of the stock being damaged by the action recoil ,
AND in making the action and barrel vibration and stock contact points 100% consistent and always 100% repeatable

thus having the action vibration being consistent and repeatable,
steel to wood contact tends to vary with moisture, wear and age,

this is one reason synthetic stocks (especially if correctly epoxy bedded) tend to maintain better accuracy,
the bullet exiting the barrel and action tends to be far more predictable and consistent,

this tends to reduce issues inducing inconsistency in accuracy issues.
you generally want to epoxy bed the action and form a epoxy pad about 2" long under the rear most 2" under the barrel.
and have a couple of thousands of clearance under the barrel from the rear two inch epoxy pad to the tip of the forearm
the old test was to wrap a dollar bill under the barrel and try to slide it back, easily,
along under the barrel back to the bedding, thus proving no forearm to barrel contact
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